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Valley Jazz Artist Chosen for Grammy Camp

A Valley senior will be in the midst of the glitz and glamour of the Grammy Awards while he participates in concerts and instructional sessions through an elite program for young jazz musicians.

Jared Freiburg is the only Iowa teen selected for this year’s Grammy Camp —­ Jazz Session, which will draw 32 students from across the country to Los Angeles the first week of February. Freiburg, one of two tenors in the camp’s jazz choir, completed a series of vocal performances and transcription exercises over two months to audition for the program.

Freiburg decided it would be a great challenge to try out for the camp. “I thought, well, it’s a longshot but if I don’t try, I’ll never know,” he said.

Freiburg learned of his selection in November, when he got a call verifying his contact information and then a package arrived full of sheet music and other material he must master before he arrives in Los Angeles Jan. 30. He is required to submit vocal tracks for critique every week until he leaves for camp.

The students in the jazz choir, combo and band will have only two days to rehearse together and Freiburg expects “they’ll come with their game faces on.” He wants to be ready.

“Right now it’s putting in the hard work so I can have the fun later,” he said.

The young musicians will perform at several venues, including a pre-Grammys celebration for the nominees and the award show’s after-party. Freiburg and the other teens will also be in the audience at the Feb. 8 award show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

While Freiburg acknowledged camp members will surely be seated toward the back of the auditorium, he’s still excited to see so many bold-faced names from the music industry. “It will be an experience to go to the Grammys and be in that room.”

Students will jam with several professional jazz musicians and record some tracks at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Country performer/songwriter Hunter Hayes will rehearse with the group and perform with them during a Feb. 4 concert.

Along with sharpening his skills and meeting other young jazz fans from across the country, the camp will also give Freiburg a chance to meet representatives from several college-level jazz programs. A number of university music schools will offer scholarships to students chosen for the camp.

Freiburg has not yet selected a college but knows he wants to focus on jazz vocals. He first learned of the complexities of jazz from his grandfather, who played in bands as a young man and taught Freiburg to read and play music.

Freiburg took piano lessons for several years and later picked up the guitar. He now learns new music by ear and teaches himself to play, improvising and making the melody his own. He enjoys playing at the downtown farmers market and at area retirement facilities and assisted living centers.

Growing up listening to Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and other crooners not only sparked Freiburg’s interest in jazz but flavored his musical tastes for life.

He doesn’t listen to anything that came out after 1989, Freiburg said, instead focusing on tunes from the 1940s to 1970s, including some ’50s rock in his jazzed-up playlist. “I’ve always liked the old stuff,” he said.

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Welcome to Valley’s New Website

Welcome to the new VHS website! Please take some time to check it out.

The new site was a collaborative project. We heard from parents, students, and staff members through a questionnaire about what they want and need from a revitalized website. Teachers and administrations partnered with the School Community Relations Team to deliver content to meet these needs. We are also working with students on the next phase of the website.

These key features are the result:

  • An Interactive Banner: Reflecting Valley’s Foundation, the banner highlights and links to the Four A’s. The banner also has a direct link to all upcoming Valley and District-wide events, the top reason parents and students come to the homepage.
  • What’s New at Valley: There are so many great things happening at Valley and we are sharing the news.
  • Revised Navigation: The website provides parents and students with Valley information and important resources.
  • Quick Access Calendars & Schedules: The Valley Athletic Schedule and Performing Arts Center Schedule are now easy to find on the home page, as is the PE schedule, daily schedules, and district calendars.
  • Valley Vibes: You can get to the Valley Vibes daily announcements from the home page.
  • Twitter Feed & Social Media Buttons: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Also access Infinite Campus quickly with the IC icon.

We’re not done yet! Our work continues as we develop the following…

  • Enhanced Academic Department Webpages: We continue to work with faculty to develop department pages.
  • Performing Arts Center Webpage & Scheduling: The School Community Relations Team is working with Performing Arts Center Manager Amanda Pichler to build out pages promoting the venue and providing information about facility, scheduling and fees, general contact information, customer reviews, classroom spaces, technology, and much more.
  • Activities: We are working with VHS students on the activities portion of the website a part of an ELP project. This is something we will work on throughout the course of this next semester.
  • Enhanced Calendar: The whole district online calendar (including Valley’s) will be revamped for the 2015-16 school year.
  • Valley Vibes Reformatted: The daily announcements will be reformatted.

Please Note! The URL has changed to http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/valley/

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Second-Graders Study Oceans

Jordan Creek second-graders created displays as part of their study of the ocean. Pictured left to right are Britton Morrow, Nile McKinney, Conall Gardner, Avery Thomas, and Reed Chapman.

Jordan Creek second-graders created displays as part of their study of the ocean. Pictured left to right are Britton Morrow, Nile McKinney, Conall Gardner, Avery Thomas, and Reed Chapman.

The second-grade students at Jordan Creek have enjoyed studying about the ocean this month.  The students learned the zones of the ocean, tides, coral reefs, food chains, and the effects of pollution. The students also researched one ocean animal and created a report and ocean visual that shares where the ocean animal lives, what it eats, how it defends itself, and other interesting facts. The students will have a walk-through museum with Jordan Creek students and staff.

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Math, Animal Tracks in Kindergarten

Crestview kindergartners Ian Leos, Diego Sanchez-Flores, Collin Nwasike, Ja’Shaun Thompson, and Benjamin Cook explore the fur of an opossum during a Polk County Conservation program about animals and their tracks

Crestview kindergartners Ian Leos, Diego Sanchez-Flores, Collin Nwasike, Ja’Shaun Thompson, and Benjamin Cook explore the fur of an opossum during a Polk County Conservation program about animals and their tracks

A Polk County conservationist visited kindergarten to teach the students about animal tracks. The children are learning new skills through games that are part of the Everyday Math curriculum.

Kindergartners Zoe Marturello and Ester Khim add two dice together and graph the answers as they play Everyday Math games at Crestview.

Kindergartners Zoe Marturello and Ester Khim add two dice together and graph the answers as they play Everyday Math games at Crestview.

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Valley News Test

Test Test Test

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Hillside Art Teacher Named Outstanding Teacher

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Stilwell earns Math School of Merit Award

Students across the country and in U.S. territories and at military bases around the world take part in the Mathematics Association of America’s AMC8 competition each year on the third Tuesday of November. At Stilwell, 49 students completed the competition this year. Stilwell is one of only four schools in Iowa to receive the honor of being named an MAA School of Merit. The Mathematic Association of America uses the top three scores from the competitors at a school to calculate the school’s merit score, which must fall between 50 and 65 to receive the School Merit Award. The students with the top three scores at Stilwell were: first, James Meng; second, Minhyuk Lee; third, Andy Waters. Congratulations to these three students and all the participants.

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First-Graders Learn Gymnastics Skills

Jordan Creek first-grade students work on their gymnastics skills during physical education class.

Jordan Creek first-grade students work on their gymnastics skills during physical education class.

First-graders are flying high in physical education class this month. Teacher Nick Pearson worked with all first-grade students on gymnastics skills. The kids had a great time tumbling.

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Singers Perform at Inaugeration Service

Members of the eighth-grade Treble Choir at Stillwell Junior High performed Jan. 15 at the interfaith prayer service for Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Members of the eighth-grade Treble Choir at Stillwell Junior High performed Jan. 15 at the interfaith prayer service for Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Members of the eighth-grade Treble Choir at Stillwell Junior High performed Jan. 15 at the interfaith prayer service marking the start of new terms for Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. Fifty-four students sang at the event. Their selections included “Hush, Somebody’s Calling My Name,” a spiritual arranged by Rollo Dilworth; “Kalanta of the New Year,” a traditional Greek folk song arranged by Malcolm Dalglish; “Blessing,” and old Irish tune arranged by Katie Moran Bart; and “America the Beautiful.” Two of the songs were part of the girls’ set list at their Dec. 18 winter concert. The others were learned after winter break in preparation for the prayer service.

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Three After School Opportunities

WDMCS Community Education’s Adventures program is offering three after school opportunities at Westridge.

Computer Coding and Programming

Come learn about the “Hour of Code” and the many other opportunities to computer code online! We’ll experiment with the basics and show you ways to practice coding at home as well. Taught by Ms. Bentz and Ms. Kaufman.

Register Online

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Lego Club

Join this fun, creative, social club where we will create masterpieces based on
popular children’s books! First, we will listen to a popular book, then create a plan based on the book. Next, we’ll get creative with the LEGOS®, and finally, we’ll share our creations with the group! Taught by Ms. Johnson and Ms. Nielsen!

Register Online

Flyer

Reader’s Theater

Reader’s Theater is a fun way for kids to enhance reading fluency, listening skills, confidence, and social skills. Students will have the opportunity to perform in a variety of different forms, such as scripted performances,
improvisation, and character personification. Class taught by Ms. Dark.

Register Online

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